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Sleep apnea is linked with increased cancer mortality

Updated: May 10, 2020

Sleep apnea is intensively studied worldwide. It’s often associated with a great number of medical conditions. Thus, recent researches at European Respiratory Society's (ERS) Annual Congress, which took place in Vienna, add to evidence that there is a direct link between severity of sleep apnea condition and cancer. The severity of the condition in the first research was measured by hypoxaemia index. This index allowed to measure the amount of time the patient suffered from low oxygen levels in the blood and this means less than 90% oxygen saturation. The findings highlight that patients who spent 14% of their night's sleep with levels this low are almost two times more likely to die from cancer, than patients without sleep apnea. It also has been found that this association was even higher in younger people and men. Similar results were also identified in the second research which determined that people with increased severe sleep apnea are at increased risk of cancer incidence. The link was present even when factors such as sex, age, weight, and other comorbid conditions were controlled for. The data found in the researches encourage further study in this field to explore in more detail the association between cancer and sleep apnea. European Lung Foundation. "Sleep apnea linked with increased risk of cancer death." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 September 2012.


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